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Beginner Going from low Db/B to low Bb

Monco

New Member
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3
How can I go from low Db/B to low Bb without getting the C in between? For some reason my pinkie hurts and I can't get it to work smoothly. Here's how my sax looks like:

 

stefank

Member
Messages
366
What we need to be able to is how big the "step up" is from a depressed C# or B key to the Bb key. I had a similar problem with an old T500 tenor - until I took it to a tech.
 

Justin Chune

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,011
You're going to love this. Hold the B down and lean on the low Bb flat key with the side of your little finger. Neat eh?

Jim.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
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21,947
Monco, I think your question is a little misleading. Do you mean Low Db to B and Low Db to Bb?
 

Monco

New Member
Messages
3
From low Db to low Bb. The other way around it's easy.

@Justin Chune: thanks, now I can go from B to Bb... however, from Db to Bb is still problematic. I can't really roll my finger like I can with the B...
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
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3,551
Practice...
the last notes of my current piece are low B to low Bb (written as A# on the piece, but anyway...)
At first I didn't stand a chance, not only with the fingering, but also with the breathing.
I didn't believe my little finger could or would ever reach those positions.
Practice has made this relatively straightforward.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Yes, I think its practice too, Monco. You don't say how long you've been playing. I had the same problem. Getting down to low Bb from anywhere else is hard at first. Practice going down chromatically at first, say from D. That way you relax you embouchure as you go as well. My teacher said that when I'd done it hundreds of times I'd probably be able to pull a truck with my little finger. She was about right!
YC
 
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Nick Cook

Member
Messages
861
...I'd probably be able to pull a truck with my little finger. She was about right!
YC
Indeed!!!!

I've only just come across Db, in a new book I've got (see thread in teaching section). Took me while to realise it's the same as C#!!
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
Could be a timing issue with your fingering - to get low Bb and B the C# needs to close, if it does it before the B/Bb close, then you'll get a C if you're trying to do this legato.
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,419
Nick, I thought you were going to say your new book is called "Know your Enharmonics"! E# is a good accidental to catch you out if you're sight reading. Seriously, it looks quite a good book.
YC
 

MandyH

Sax-Mad fiend!
Subscriber
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3,551
I have to learn the scales of C# for my grade 6. C# major has the key sig of 7 sharps - E# and B# included :)))
 

Two Voices

Senior Member
Messages
1,113
I've been playing the Ex1-01 (Warm up and chords tones) on pages 3, 4 and 5) from Taming the Saxophone twice a day. That has helped me immensely with figuring out all my sharps (A#, B#, C#, D#, E#, F#, G#) and flats (Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, Fb. Gb). It has also helped get my fingerings smoother such as going from Low C to Low Eb.
 

Monco

New Member
Messages
3
Well, the Db --> Bb combination is the only one which remains very difficult (i can do the B to Bb). The problem is that the C get in between...
 

VirusKiller

Member
Messages
449
Well, the Db --> Bb combination is the only one which remains very difficult (i can do the B to Bb). The problem is that the C get in between...
It's possible that a tweak to the left hand little finger key table might improve things, but I suspect that practice, practice and practice is what will solve your problem! I'm discovering this with many aspects of playing the sax.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
Well, the Db --> Bb combination is the only one which remains very difficult (i can do the B to Bb). The problem is that the C get in between...
If you can manage to keep the Db down as you slide/roll onto the Bb, the Bb key should push the C#/Db closed with it, so no C. At least, I think that's how it works --- I don't have a sax in my hands at the moment.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
If you can manage to keep the Db down as you slide/roll onto the Bb, the Bb key should push the C#/Db closed with it, so no C. At least, I think that's how it works --- I don't have a sax in my hands at the moment.
Low Bb/B don't close the C# - at least not on my instruments. Which is why the C is sneaking in. somehow one needs to press the B/Bb and release the C#, and the B/Bb need to be closed before the C# to avoid the C.
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,904
Low Bb/B don't close the C# - at least not on my instruments. Which is why the C is sneaking in. somehow one needs to press the B/Bb and release the C#, and the B/Bb need to be closed before the C# to avoid the C.
Ah, must be a modern thing. It does it on both of mine.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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21,947
Ah, must be a modern thing. It does it on both of mine.
On all my saxes the B/Bb don't close the C#, this key has to be released to close the tonehole.

So far I'd checked the A Santoni and Kohlert in my sig. I think the Santoni is 60s or 70s, but don't really know.

I've just looked at a modern chinese alto with articulated LH table. Although the B/Bb don't close the C#, when you slide across from C# it's easy to get B/Bb closed before releasing the C#, and this avoids the C creeping in. I guess that's what you mean by B/Bb closing C#. B is easier than Bb.

And on the Kohlert and Santoni it's really difficult to close B/Bb before releasing the C# as you slide across. It may be an adjustment thing, because the Buescher 20A (I'm guessing this is from the 30s or 40s) is easier than these two. Couldn't check the Meindl or Akustic, cos they're in bits awaiting a rebuild.


So the question to Monco is - what are your keys/toneholes doing as you try to move, especially from C# (or Db) to Bb? Maybe some adjustments are needed. Or it could be, as the others said, practice.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,179
Looking at the pics, the distance the stop, which is on the G# key, has to travel (compared to my saxes), is about right.
There is no link bar between C# & Bb, which causes the Bb key to tilt down with the C# key, when the C# key is pressed (enabling you to roll from one key to the other). Without this bar, there is a step up to the Bb key.
I think this is the problem. I'm afraid you're just going to have to live with it.

John.
 
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